No one asked Travis Rudolph to do it. It wasn’t an orchestrated surprise, it wasn’t some secret plan to lift the spirits of a little boy. Rudolph made the conscious decision to do the unexpected.
Rudolph is a wide receiver at Florida State University. He’ll probably be drafted into the NFL one day. He and a few of his fellow players were visiting the school. During lunch Rudolph grabbed a slice of pizza. He noticed one little boy was eating by himself.
Rudolph asked the boy if he could sit next to him and they began to chat. Little did the athlete know, the boy sits alone every single day. He has autism and trouble making friends. An onlooker snapped a photo and sent it to the boy’s mom, Leah Paske, once she realized who Travis Rudolph was she immediately began to cry.
Paske penned the emotional letter you’re about to read. When Rudolph read the letter not only did he cry himself but he offered the boy his cell phone number so that they can chat any time!
See the letter that’s going viral below…
Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really?
I remember one kid on the bus called me “Tammy Fay Baker” bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn’t see me anymore I cried. “
I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism.”
That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone.”
It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind.
He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption, ‘Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son,’ I replied, ‘Who is that?’ He said, FSU football player,’ then I had tears streaming down my face.”
Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten.
This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life!”
See more of this story in the video below!
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